United Way ‘Stock the School’ program to help North Texas students

It’s been a tough eleven months in North Texas.

Tornadoes tore through the area last October. Then, as residents were still rebuilding their lives, the COVID-19 pandemic struck.

The public health crisis forced schools to close, which created numerous challenges for teachers, students and their families. Worse, some schools that were already dealing with financial issues face even greater uncertainty as they work to resume classes this fall.

So, Kellogg and Boxed are teaming up with United Way of Metropolitan Dallas (UWMD) for Stock the School – an initiative to make sure North Texas students have the tools they need to succeed.

Social K caught up recently with Nitasha Mehta, Director of CPG Partnerships at Boxed and Eliana Renteria, Manager, Corporate Engagement from UWMD to discuss the program.

SK: Let’s take it from the top… which school is benefitting from Stock the School?
UW: Francisco “Pancho” Medrano Middle School in the Dallas Independent School District. The school has nearly 1,000 students across 55 classrooms.

SK: A lot of schools in North Texas face challenges… why was Medrano Middle School chosen?
UW: In October 2019, following the tornadoes that tore through this area of Dallas, students of Edward H. Cary Middle School were transferred to Medrano Middle School. In the spring, Medrano had to close due to the risk of COVID-19. After such a challenging school year, the Stock the School program provided an opportunity to address the immediate needs of this community and set our students up for success in the future.

Boxed: One of our three fulfillment centers is located in the city of Flower Mound, just North of Dallas. Due to both living and working in the area, we feel strongly connected to the affected communities and want to give support however we can.

SK: What exactly does Stock the School provide?
UW: Kellogg, along with one of its charitable funds, is donating $27,500 to fund snacks, books and other essential learning supplies and equipment. The kids will also receive new physical education attire.

UW: Portions of the program donation will also go to support ongoing UWMD response and recovery efforts. We’ll be able to provide resources for people who have lost their jobs and food to families facing food insecurity. Kellogg is also making an in-kind donation of 8,000 additional books to help families build at-home libraries via Kellogg’s Feeding Reading program.

SK: How does Stock the School fit with the broader mission of United Way?
UW: United Way’s goal is to strengthen education, income and health—the building blocks of opportunity. Stock the School checks all those boxes. It puts resources directly in the hands of educators and their students, so they can all return to school confident, empowered and prepared to succeed.

SK: Why did Boxed choose to become involved with Stock the School?

Boxed: Boxed was founded with the goal of making sure you’re set for whatever life throws at you, and we want to take that philosophy to the classroom. We want to make sure teachers and students are ready for the wonders of learning. We know that students are set up for success when they have a future-ready classroom to welcome them, whether they’re learning in the actual classroom or remotely.

SK: Are there plans to expand Stock the School?
UW: This is the second year we’ve done it. Last year’s program benefited Cedar Crest Elementary School in South Dallas, and provided essential supplies to 20 classrooms. Combined with this year’s program, we will have made a positive impact on 75 classrooms, 1,500 students and 150 teachers. We hope to expand the program and look forward to reaching more students next year.

SK: Finally, is there a way for people to donate to or otherwise support Stock the School?
Boxed: Yes. Kellogg and Boxed consumers – and anyone, really – can contribute by visiting https://www.boxed.com/brand/30/kelloggsfamilyrewards on Boxed.com. You can also send a back-to-school e-card to students. And Kellogg consumers can donate their Kellogg’s Family Rewards points to United Way to support programs like this and others.

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